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Planting Corn

Sweet Corn is adapted to a wide range of climatic conditions and, consequently, is grown in all sections of the U.S. It is grown for the fresh market in both the southern and northern regions, but by far the largest acreage in the North is grown for processing and freezing. This crop grows best during hot weather and is frost-tender.

Sweet Corn Varieties

Each seed company lists many varieties; therefore it is difficult to suggest varieties that are available in all sections. Most of the older varieties such as ‘Golden Bantam’ and ‘Country Gentleman’ have been replaced by hybrids such as ‘Sugar and Gold’, ‘Golden Beauty’, Earlibelle’, ‘Butter and Sugar’, ‘Gold Cup’, ‘Golden Cross Bantam’, and ‘Jubilee’, listed in order of maturity. ‘Country Gentleman’ and ‘Stowell Evergreen Hybrids’ are popular white varieties. There are many other varieties that are excellent and therefore it is recommended that seed catalogues be checked for those that are listed for a particular region.

Sweet Corn Soils and Fertilizers

Sweet Corn is grown on all types of soil. A well-drained sandy loam to a silt loam is preferred. This plant has a very deep and extensive root system. Deep and thorough soil preparation is therefore important. Three to four bu. of well-rotted manure per two ft. of row worked into the soil will improve the water-holding capacity of the soil and provide some plant food.

Sweet Corn Planting

Sweet Corn is injured by frost and the seed germinates poorly in cold wet soil. Planting should be delayed until these conditions are satisfactory. Some gardeners start the seed in paper bands or pots in the hotbed and then transplant into the garden to get corn a week or two earlier than by direct planting out of doors. Sweet Corn can be planted in hills or in drills. Hills should be spaced 18 to 24 in. apart in the row and the rows spaced at 36 in. Three plants are adequate per hill. In drills the rows are spaced at 36 in. and the plants thinned to stand6-8 in. apart. Crows and starlings may scratch out the seed just prior to its germination. The seed should be treated with a crow repellent which can be purchased at a garden center.

Sweet Corn Cultivation

Cultivation of Sweet Corn is similar to that of other garden crops, namely shallow and sufficient to control weeds. Where corn is planted in hills, black plastic 18 in. wide may be placed over the row with holes for each hill. This not only controls weeds but also tends to conserve soil moisture. Herbicides are widely used in commercial corn plantings for the control of weeds. The most satisfactory material is Atrazine, but again this is very selective and cannot be recommended for the home gardener with a few short rows of Sweet Corn.

The removal of suckers and hilling of corn plants is not necessary or recommended Harvesting

Highest quality, sweetness and tenderness of the kernel are reached when harvested in the milk stage of maturity. At this stage the kernel is soft and succulent. As the kernel content changes to a doughy consistency it loses its sweetness and increases in toughness. Flavor and succulence are quickly lost after picking if exposed to high temperatures, say 75° to 80° F. At these temperatures 30-50% of the sugar may revert to starch in 4-5 hours. At temperatures of 32°-38°F, the original quality may be retained for several days.

Sweet Corn Insects and Pests

Corn earworm, a stout striped worm, feeds in the silk and kernels near tip of ear. Although they do not survive freezing, they migrate northward and are destructive when the ears are maturing. Spraying or dusting the silk at 2 or 3 day intervals with insecticide is safe and effective. European corn borer and southern corn borer tunnel stalks and eat kernels. Spraying with insecticide when the stalks are first visible in the whorl and repeating in 7-10 days should give good control. White grubs and wireworms eat the seed and roots and soil treatment with insecticide is desirable following sod. Corn flea beetle spreads bacterial (Stewart’s) wilt disease and, following mild winters when the beetle survives, a careful spraying program with insecticide on early corn is recommended. Army worm can strip the leaves from corn in a short time. They are most destructive in late summer and a thorough treatment of corn and surrounding vegetation with insecticide is advised. Chinch bug is destructive in Midwestern corn fields but seldom needs special control in home gardens. Stalk borer bores into stalks when they are small and ruins them. Spraying is seldom practical. Japanese beetles eat the silk but can be handpicked successfully if sprays for other insect pests are not used.

Sweet Corn Diseases

Bacterial wilt is described under flea beetle. Corn smut produces large, grayish-white galls called “boils” which usually ruin the ear. The “boils” contain a mass of spores. Fungicides are impractical and cutting and burning before the spores mature is suggested for home gardens. Treated corn seed is recommended for planting using fungicide on home grown seed.

Liver Disease

Some people turn yellow when their liver becomes infected. This is called jaundice, and it means that the liver cells have become infected and inflamed. A pigmented product called bilirubin that is produced in the liver and normally passed into the bowel for elimination is blocked as the inflamed cells and canals jam up.

More and more is channeled into the bloodstream, giving the skin and normally white parts of the body (such as the whites of the eyes) a yellowish tinge.

Liver Disease Causes

The most common type of liver disease is infectious hepatitis, or hepatitis A. It’s caused by a virus believed to be transmitted from infected fecal matter to food that subsequently finds its way into the system. Infectious particles of the hepatitis A virus are seen with the aid of an electron microscope. Symptoms can occur anywhere from 30 to 40 days after infection.

This is a similar kind, but it seems to act much more slowly, taking anywhere from 40 to 110 days (average 65 days) to produce symptoms. It is probably transmitted in a different way, and once it was believed to occur if infected needles or blood were used. Now researchers have found that the virus may be transmitted from person to person in a multitude of ways.

A product in the blood that pinpointed accurate diagnosis was first discovered in an Australian aboriginal, and for many years it was called Australian antigen. But now it is known as the hepatitis B (surface) antigen. When trying to confirm the diagnosis, doctors seek this particular element in the blood of the patient.

Liver Disease Symptoms

Often symptoms start abruptly, with fevers, headaches, aches and pains all over, loss of appetite and vomiting. After two to five days, a yellowing of the skin or eyes may occur, and this gives the signal that hepatitis may be present. However, this is not always so, and many cases occur in which there are only a few symptoms. Often the upper part of the abdomen is painful. This indicates the liver or spleen, two large organs tucked up under the ribs, are affected and swollen.

With symptoms of this kind, a wise parent will call the doctor. Diagnosis is often difficult, although if there is a local epidemic, it is much easier to predict. The doctor will most probably order special tests to confirm the diagnosis.

Liver Disease Treatment

There is no specific drug in use, but the doctor will give advice on the best routine to follow. Also, the doctor’s supervision is advisable, for serious complications may take place in which hospital care may become necessary. Fortunately the majority of cases does well with simple measures, and get well before long.

Reducing physical activity with a few days in bed gives the body’s recuperative powers the best chance to work at maximum capacity. Plenty of fluids, especially fruit juices with added powdered glucose D provide food in an easy digestible form and help allay nausea. Fluids help rid toxins and dead germs from the system. They also help reduce fevers. There are no strict food restrictions, but high-fat-content meals are usually unpalatable.

Most cases do well, especially those in whom the infection has been mild – this is so in most instances. However, hospital care is sometimes necessary, especially if symptoms are severe, and the youthful patient is not able to take normal food by mouth.

Hepatitis B is a far more severe and dangerous disorder, and the outlook is often much poorer.

A vaccine offering protection against hepatitis B is now available, and is given to persons at risk. The main risk is in mothers infecting their babies during pregnancy.

There is no vaccine for hepatitis A, but those coming into contact with the disease may gain protection by an injection of special serum containing the protective elements called gamma globulin. The doctor arranges this for you.

Emergency and First Aid

Increasing knowledge and advances in medicine constantly update first-aid techniques in the event of an emergency, but the emphasis remains on the prompt and proper care of the casualty by helping to alleviate pain and suffering. Whether first aid involves being able to deal with a suspected broken leg or stopping a nosebleed, it is vital to know the right steps to rake in order to prevent further complications and to reassure the casualty that they are in good hands.

Learning basic first-aid techniques is straightforward and is something that everyone should do. Knowing how to act in some emergency situations may well make the difference between life and death.

Animal Bites and Scratches

  1. All animals carry germs in their mouths and on their claws. When these penetrate the skin, the germs will be left in the muscle tissues and may cause infection if not cleaned thoroughly.
  2. Hold the wound under warm running water and wash the affected area with soap for at least 5 minutes to remove any saliva or dirt particles.
  3. Gently pat the area dry, and then wipe the wound with a mild antiseptic solution before covering it with a sticking plaster or sterile dressing.
  4. A serious wound should always he referred to hospital.

Broken Bones

  1. Always treat any doubtful cases of injured bones as if they were broken in order to prevent additional internal injuries. Do not attempt to move the casualty until the injured part is secured and supported, unless he is in danger
  2. If the broken limb is an arm, it may then be reasonable to take the casualty to hospital by car, otherwise call for an ambulance immediately.
  3. Do not give the casualty anything to eat or drink, as surgery may be required if bones are badly broken.

Treating a Broken Leg

  1. Ensure that the casualty remains still, and support the leg and below the injury with your hands. Move the uninjured leg against it and place padding between the knees, ankles and hollows.
  2. Using a scarf, tie or cloth, tie the feet together in a figure-of-8 to secure them, and tie on the outer edge of the foot on the uninjured leg.
  3. Immobilize the joints by tying both knees and ankles together. Lie additional bandages and below the injured area.
  4. Should the bone protrude through the skin, cover the wound with a sterile dressing or clean pad, and apply pressure to control the bleeding. Use a bandage to secure the pad and immobilize the limb.

Treating a Broken Arm

  1. Sit the casualty in a chair and carefully place the injured arm across his chest in the position that is most comfortable. Ask him to support the arm or place a cushion underneath it to take the weight.
  2. Use a shawl or piece of sheeting (approximately 1sq in / 1yd in size) and fold it diagonally into a triangle. Slide this under the injured arm and strap the arm using a wide piece of fabric, then secure by tying the ends by the collarbone on the injured side.

Burns and Scalds

  1. Immediately douse the burned or scalded area in cold running water.
  2. Gently try to remove any jewellery or constricting clothing from near the burn before it starts to swell.
  3. Keep the affected part in cold water for at least 10 minutes, then place a clean dressing over the horn and gently bandage it.
  4. Any injury larger than 2.5cm / 1in will require treatment at the hospital.

Treating Burns

  1. Never break blisters.
  2. Never use a sticking plaster.
  3. Never apply butter, lotions or ointment to the affected area.

Choking

  1. Remove any food or false teeth from the mouth, but never attempt to locate the obstruction by putting your fingers down the casualty’s throat, as this can push the obstruction further in.
  2. If the casualty becomes unconscious this may relieve muscle spasm, so check to see whether he has begun to breathe. If not, turn him on his side and give 4 blows between the shoulder blades. Should this fail, place one hand the other just below the rib cage and perform abdominal thrusts. If the casualty still does not start to breathe, call immediately for an ambulance and give the kiss of life.
  3. If a choking casualty becomes unconscious, kneel astride him and, placing one hand the other, perform abdominal thrusts.

Dealing with a Choking Person

  1. Bend the casualty forward so that the head is lower than the chest, and encourage him to cough. If this does not dislodge the object, sharply slap him up to 5 times between the shoulder blades using the flat of your hand.
  2. If this fails, stand behind him and grip your hands together just below the rib cage. Pull sharply inwards and upwards from your elbows to deliver up to 5 abdominal thrusts.11 times of this action will cause the diaphragm to compress the chest and should force out the obstruction. If the blockage still remains, repeat the process of 5 hack slaps followed by 5 abdominal thrusts.
  3. If a child is choking, place him across your knees with the heel down. Holding him securely, slap smartly between the shoulder blades (using less force than that required for an adult) to dislodge the object. If the child continues to choke, sit-in on your knees and, using just one clenched hand, perform gentle abdominal thrusts to avoid causing injury.
  4. If a baby or toddler is choking, lay him along your forearm with the head down, using your hand to support the head. Use your fingers to slap the baby smartly between the shoulder blades, but remember to use less force than you would for an older child.
  5. If the baby fails to start breathing, turn him over on to his hack so that the head is tilted down. Using only 2 fingers, apply up to 4 abdominal thrusts just the navel by pressing quickly forwards towards the area of the chest.

Friedreich’s Ataxia

Friedreich’s ataxia is an inherited disease, with the patient usually affected in childhood. The disease generally sets in between the child’s sixth and tenth years. Onset is gradual, with foot deformity and ataxia (an inability to appreciate the normal sensation of space). Awkwardness of walking is the typical symptom, with a tendency to stumble and fall easily. This may even date from infancy. The walk becomes clumsy and irregular, short steps are taken and the trunk tends to sway unsteadily from side to side. When walking each foot is raised in a poorly coordinated manner. Gradually this tendency spreads to the upper limbs.

As the condition advances, irregular movements of the head and neck follow, with the upper part of the body moving with jerky, nodding motions. Irregular eye movements occur, also difficulties in speech and word correlation. There may be wasting of the muscles of the hands and feet however, sensation appreciation is often little affected.

The course is a slow and irregular one, but the average duration of the disease is more than 30 years. Concurrent infections do not help, and may finally cause the patient’s death, rather than the disease itself.

There is no known treatment of any benefit. Training of the limbs by physiotherapy may assist, and orthopedic shoes can assist the deformities of the feet.

Group B Streptococcal

Group B Streptococcal (GBS) infection is found in the genital area of up to 30 percent of healthy women. Most infected pregnant women show no signs of illness, but are at increased risk for kidney infections, premature rupture of the membranes, preterm labor, and stillbirth. The biggest danger is to infants who become infected during birth. While not all infants become ill, if you or someone else in the family is ill, it is best that you do not make contact with the baby; otherwise serious replications could take place. The factors that increase the risk of complications are prematurity, fever during labor, high level bacteria, and prolonged rupture of the membranes mix to delivery.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), culture of the vaginal and rectal area to check for group B strep should be performed on all pregnant women at 35 to 37 weeks of pregnancy. Women who tested positive during pregnancy with either the genital culture or urine culture, who previously had an infant with GBS, or who deliver before 37 weeks gestation should be treated during labor with antibiotics. Women who did not have a culture done or whose culture result is not known should be given antibiotics if they are less than 37 weeks pregnant, have had ruptured membranes for longer than 18 hours, or have a temperature of over 100.4°F (Fahrenheit).

Treatment with antibiotics during labor has been shown to be highly effective in preventing complications in newborns if the antibiotics are administered 4 or more hours prior to delivery. If the infant is delivered less than 4 hours following the administration of antibiotics or shows signs of infection, a partial or full septic workup may be required. This may include blood tests, a spinal tap, chest X-rays, and/or intravenous administration of antibiotics. The CDC also recommends that all infants of treated mothers be observed for 48 hours after delivery.

Acute Pharyngitis

What is Acute Pharyngitis?

It is common for the pharynx to become inflamed and infected. Indeed, in practically any upper respiratory tract infection, some degree of sore throat will take place. It is almost impossible for the pharynx to escape, for it forms a basic part of the respiratory tract. Also, in the many invasive infections, the throat will become sore. This is true of many of the childhood fevers: measles, mumps, possibly chickenpox, infectious mononucleosis (glandular fever) and all the other simple infections that are common. Usually it is a simple process, and healing occurs with time and straightforward measures.

Acute Pharyngitis Symptoms

The throat becomes progressively more painful. The back part becomes red, and small raised areas of lymphoid tissue often become prominent. The mucus becomes thick. Talking may be difficult, and often there is some intercurrent laryngitis as well. The lymph glands in the neck may swell and become painful. The tonsils may become involved to some extent. Often pharyngitis is part of a generalised tonsillitis, and often the two conditions will be treated simultaneously.

The complications of simple pharyngitis are similar to those of tonsillitis.

Acute Pharyngitis Treatment

Treatment of pharyngitis is usually similar (often identical) to that for acute tonsillitis. Generally the condition is not so severe, and as a rule systemic side effects are less marked.

However, many respond well to antibiotics from the doctor. Incidentally, no antibiotic should be taken unless doctor prescribed for a specific illness, and then the full prescribed course should be taken. This helps to ensure that the germs are totally killed and not merely “stunned,” so giving rise to the possible development of resistant strains that in future might not respond to antibiotics at all. (This is fast becoming a major worldwide problem with indiscriminate use of antibiotics.) Do not take antibiotics prescribed for others unless given specific medical instructions.

Cogenital Heart Disorders

What is Congenital Heart Disease?

Congenital heart disease probably represents the most common disease of the heart system in infancy and early childhood. About six to eight babies for every 1,000 born may suffer from one of these disorders. It doesn’t sound very many, but when you consider that around 4,000,000 babies are born in each year within the US alone, the figure still tallies up to a fair number in gross figures. It could represent up to 24,000 to 32,000 babies affected each year.

Congenital Heart Disease Causes

There is little doubt that infections during early pregnancy, especially the first trimester (first three month period), may play a major part. In the bad old days before it was realized how powerful the virus of rubella was. Many more babies were affected. After a rubella epidemic, many babies were born with severe congenital defects, not only of the heart, but of the eyes, ear and brain. The heart is developed around eight to ten weeks after conception, and the virus readily crosses over the placenta into the developing embryo. It can markedly interfere with normal cell division, hence the problems of defects occurring from that point on.

Viruses are not the only cause. There must be many other causes. The taking of drugs during pregnancy may interfere adversely with development. X-rays have also been incriminated, for they too, may interfere with normal cellular replication. If there are defects in the parent, this, too, may increase the baby’s risk. But in the main, we do not know too much about it all. There arc undoubtedly many other causes present.

The symptoms may be many and varied. There may be a below-average weight gain. Feeding problems are common, and attacks of vomiting may take place. There may be sighing, fainting attacks and even blackouts. The baby may be pale, have difficulty in swallowing normal feeds, or may regurgitate food with the appearance of curdled milk. Normal comfortable breathing may be absent. Baby may seem more at ease while bending backwards. The -growing child is often disinclined to join in the normal playground activities with playmates, and may prefer to sit on the SI lines. There could be a bluish tinge to the s in. (This is called cyanosis.)

Congenital Heart Disease Treatment

The question that immediately looms is what should the parent do if any of these telltale symptoms put in an appearance? Many of the symptoms may be intermittent. There are usually no flags flying and red lights flashing. The mother may realize that something is wrong, although often especially with a first baby, the mother may not recognize the symptoms as being abnormal, for she may have no yardstick of comparison. This is often a major problem for young mothers regarding any childhood illness, not necessarily solely heart disorders.

The mother is best advised to take the baby or infant or child to the family doctor. Here, general checks may be initiated. If there is any question of congenital defects, then the appropriate specialty will be recommended. There are experts in this field in every capital city in Australia and New Zealand, and rural towns also have access to good medical investigation and care. Ideally, the child will ultimately wind up at a major city centre with the facilities to diagnose and correct any abnormality.

The range of heart defects is quite large. It is all very complex but today we live in a sophisticated society, and we have access to first-class medical care. A parent with problems should be steered toward the expert centers. Surgery has made remarkable advances in recent times.

In some congenital defects, the relatively simple administration of certain medications is proving beneficial. A condition called patent ductus arteriosus 4 (which means a connection between two major vessels remains open instead of shutting off at birth) is now being treated with a simple drug called indomethacin (also used for arthritics). Given early, it enables the vessels to close and stay shut.

Hepatitis B

What is Hepatitis B?

This is another form of hepatitis, and many believe it may be similar to hepatitis A, but in a more prolonged form. This also is caused by a virus, but instead of the virus having been discovered, the antigen has been isolated. If this is discovered in the blood, it is presumptive evidence that the virus is there also. This is referred to as the hepatitis B surface antigen, or HBsAg for short. The antigen has a surface component and a central core, and the surface portion is involved with hepatitis B.

It is of interest to note that this was first discovered in an Australian Aborigine. For some years it was referred to as the Australian Antigen or AuAg. However, the name was later changed. For many years hepatitis B was known and referred to as serum hepatitis, for it occurred when infected needles from a hepatitis patient (usually unrecognized) transmitted it to others not suffering from the disorder. It was also transmitted in blood transfusions. Today, stringent screening measures arc used on blood from recipients to rule out this possibility. However, it seems the HBsAg is present in a large number of fluids and secretions in those affected. It may be transmitted by contact with these, although this is not fully understood.

Besides being in the blood, it may be present in saliva, breast milk, urine, vaginal secretions, seminal fluid. It is common in prostitutes, and this seems a common way of it being disseminated. The exact role of kissing, sexual intercourse and breastfeeding is not fully known, but there would appear to be inherent risks.

Hepatitis B Causes

Tattooing, ear-piercing and the use of unsterile needles by drug addicts (or indeed by anyone having regular injections) are other common methods of spread, for good hygiene may be lacking. The use-once disposable needles are recommended and usually used for all injections today.

Ear-piercing should be done using totally sterile equipment, and this is now readily available. Tattooing in any form should be banned. In certain Australian states it is illegal for those under a certain age, and this is as it should be.

Hepatitis B is much more common in dental surgeons, probably due to their close contact with saliva in many patients, including those who are infected. It has been a wide problem in hemodialysis units in major hospitals and where open-heart surgery is carried out, for large volumes of blood arc used, and it has been easy for the virus to be involved.

However, with major screening processes and very sensitive radio-immunoassay tests for picking the HBsAg, it has now largely been eliminated in many major hospitals, particularly in the UK, which has an amazing record for having almost conquered the disease in its larger units. Hepatitis B is a serious disease, for it may come on six to 12 months or even longer after initial exposure. It runs a chronic prolonged course. The mortality rate in some series has been given as 10 – 20 per cent, which is extremely high, and a marked variation from the almost always innocuous hepatitis A.

Diagnosis usually depends on HBsAg being detected in the blood, for this is conclusive. Other tests similar to those for hepatitis A may also be carried out. Hepatitis B is closely related to HIV, the virus responsible for AIDS. In fact, the two diseases are transmitted in almost exactly the same way, and many patients suffer from both diseases. It is much more common in homosexual couples, and the greater the number of partners, the higher the risk. It is commonly transmitted by the use of infected needles, which usually means it is related to the use of illicit drugs. It is present in the heterosexual community; but more commonly when one partner is bisexual (i.e. has relations with both male and female partners). It is also present in the prostitute community; where many partners, requiring a variety of sexual practices, are encountered. Transmissions by infected blood products, infected instruments, and anal intercourse, seem to be common ways in which the germ is transmitted. People living a normal heterosexual life, or with one stable non-infected partner, have little to fear of contracting hepatitis B.

The risks of acquiring it from blood medicinal products or blood transfusions today are minimal. Strict screening measures are now widely used, and any potentially infected blood is discarded, and the donor usually followed up for treatment.

Hepatitis B Treatment

Hepatitis B vaccination, consisting of three injections (now, then one month, six months), gives excellent protection, and lasts at least five years, when a booster may be required. Treatment is with interferon, but other drugs will inevitably be developed. Contacts may gain some protection with hepatitis B immunoglobulin injection. Avoidance of the virus is the simplest and best advice. Commonsense is essential.

Freckles

Freckles are caused by an irregular pigmentation of the skin. Material called melanin is normally present in an even manner below the superficial skin cells. This reacts with sunlight to produce a protective tan and so prevent burning. But sometimes after sun exposure, instead of the tan being even, it is irregular, and brown spots appear between the white areas of non-pigmented skin.

Blonds, redheads, brunettes and fair complexioned people are more likely to suffer with freckles. These are also more likely to burn on hot days.

Freckles Treatment

It’s good to remember that exposure to the sun is the way they will be aggravated, so the more sunbathing, the worse they will be. Wearing adequate protection when outdoors in summer is good advice. Broad-brimmed hats, umbrellas, swimming for short periods rather than very long periods, wearing ultraviolet screening lotions and creams will all assist.

There are many effective commercial lines, such as Sunsense UV Ultraviolet cream, Blockout, Uvistat and many others. Reapply often and after each swim, for many are soluble and wash off in the water. Ideally use factor 15 strength if the skin is very white.

If the person is embarrassed by their freckles, these will give a temporary masking effect that may make the person feel a bit better. If very troublesome, laser removal is available.

Eyelid Twitching

It’s also called a tic, or technically “bleoparospasm.” It means the child commences blinking the eyes frequently, or commences to twitch them. It may sometimes follow on from an eye irritation where the child gains some relief from constantly blinking, opening and closing the eyes or making grimaces. When the underlying condition clears, it may right itself automatically. But more often the real cause is some emotional psychological stress. It may be tied in with other facial contortions and unnatural movements.

It’s well worthwhile having the child’s eyes medically examined. If there’s some obvious disorder, this should be treated adequately. This may improve the condition. But if there’s no disorder, it may indicate a psychological stress situation, and this may be much harder to treat.

There may be domestic stresses and anxieties children may or may not be aware of, but which are being reflected in their outward actions. Psychological counseling may be necessary.

In adults with severe spasming, specialists are now injecting the muscle involved with botulinum toxin. This stops the spasm. It is new and a very delicate procedure, but very successful.